Presentation on theme: "Conquest and Settlement. That the frontier, the free and empty land to the West, was the most defining element of America One of the most enduring."— Presentation transcript:
That the frontier, the free and empty land to the West, was the most defining element of America One of the most enduring of the myths about the West Written by Frederick Jackson Turner, historian In reality, the land was never empty or free
Frontier as a crucible for American identity In reality, the West was not particularly exceptional—facing the same challenges as other areas Exploitation of land Exploitation of labor Consolidation of capital Vicious ethnic and racial rivalries
Generous federal land grants meant that railroads could sell land next to track at a profit Railroads received more than 180 million acres They connected with major cattle trailheads to capitalize on markets
By 1870, 63,000 Chinese immigrants lived in America but were denied access to citizenship 1876 Workingman’s Party formed to fight for Chinese exclusion
Whereas, in the opinion of the Government of the United States the coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order of certain localities within the territory thereof: Therefore, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same is hereby, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come, or, having so come after the expiration of said ninety days, to remain within the United States.
Silver mining required capital, technical knowledge, equipment Rife with speculation, misrepresentation, thievery Drew thousands, including immigrants, especially Irish Virginia City 1870s, one out of 30 miners injured on the job; one out of 80 killed Depicted as lawless, often urbanized and industrialized
1873 new vein uncovered, transitioning from small scale industry to corporate enterprise, creating a radically new social and economic environment Nevada statehood because of the mines 1864
New Englanders, Mormons, African-Americans, Mexicans, Latinos, and immigrants from Asia, Europe and Canada Complex blend of racism and prejudice Violence between cattle ranchers and sheep ranchers; ranchers and farmers; miners and their bosses; rival Indian groups; and whites and Indians
Herds with as many as 3,000 head of cattle grazed on public lands along the cattle trails The invention of barbed wire in 1874 virtually closed the open range ‘fence cutters’ fought against big ranchers
In 1879 more than 15,000 black farmers made and ‘Exodus’ from Mississippi and Louisiana to find land in Kansas
In 1870, nearly 80 percent of the nation’s people lived on farms Overwhelmingly rural In 1900, there were 5.7 million farms in the US
Vaqueros (Hispanic cowboys) became migrant workers on land their families had once owned Blizzards and drought decimated herds and by late 1880s, the heyday of cattle ranching ended
Pioneered investment and corporate structures for the business of agriculture Developed foreign markets for cotton and grain Industrialized equipment and technique Sought control of land and water rights
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